20 October 2010

New Bridge Column: No Guarantees in Policy Analysis

My latest column is out in Bridges, the excellent quarterly on science and technology policy from the Office of Science & Technology (OST) at the Embassy of Austria in Washington, DC.  In it I discuss the role of policy analyses in delivering certainties in outcomes.  Here is an excerpt:
. . . "technology-led" proposals funded by a low-but-rising tax are spelled out in far greater detail in my book, in "The Hartwell Paper" (a collaboration led by the London School of Economics and Oxford University that I participated in earlier this year) and, in particular, in the work of economists Isabela Galiana and Chris Green at McGill University.

These ideas are often the subject of discussion and debate on my blog, providing a useful opportunity for critique.  In such discussions I have found an interesting objection to the proposals, which comes both from those who favor the conventional, top-down targets and timetables approach as well as from those who are opposed to efforts to intentionally seek to accelerate the decarbonization of the economy.
Have a look at the column to see what those shared objections are.  And as usual, in Bridges there are a range of interesting articles and commentaries that you might check out. Comments welcomed on my column as well.